Thursday 30 May 2013

the little annoyances.

Confession time: when I walk my dog I like to put in my headphones and walk my dog. It seems selfish, yes I know. But I like to block out distractions, pray, think, or not think, or whatever. But stopping to talk to fifty people, even briefly is sometimes an annoyance to me. And even worse, I do not notice people.... Because I am in my own little world (how very American of me).

I am a slightly introverted person, if you did not know that about me. I love hanging out with people.... But sometimes, I just need to walk my dog.

Now, as I have lived here and grown more accustom to this culture, and learned more of the language.... I don't mind, and *gasp* sometimes even enjoy running into people, greeting them, chatting for a moment and then continuing on.  One of the ways I can see myself changing.

Anyways, sometimes those annoyances turn into something more then stopping to say hi. Sometimes someone stops me and asks me about classes in the community center. We love new people :). Sometimes people stop me to talk about my dog (I have met more people through her than any other way), And sometimes, like yesterday, I meet someone who is new to the neighborhood, saw the sign on my house (if you want to change Mexico, be born again), and we chat for a while. Which leads to swinging by her house before church on Sunday so we can go together. 

Sometimes what I perceive as annoyances aren't at all. Well, they are until I change my attitude.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Who says Mexico isn't beautiful!

We have a little bit of a slower week this week, so we kidnapped Melanie and took an adventure.

Jim told us about a  new place he found in the city-- Xochimilco Ecological Park and Flower Market.

We packed a picnic and ventured out- first time driving all by ourselves out of the area we live. go us!

It was absolutely beautiful, planning our  next trip back!

And across the street from the park  is the largest flower market in Latin America. Just rows and rows of SUPER cheap flowers. We bought little homemade chia pets. We will see if i can keep it alive =)

Sunday 26 May 2013

What a weekend!

This weekend was the FAMEX missions conference. It was an encouraging time of listening to great speakers, neat break out sessions and hearing all about the people "going" all over the world.

A big shout out to the people who put it together, very well done! I pray that everyone who attended has a new vision for reaching the world for Christ.

Church today was pretty awesome too. Samuel, like usual, did a great job with Romans 12:2 =)

After church, pizza with the youth group and to the theaters to see fast and furious 6 (which is not the best movie i have ever seen). 

Good weekend. Good friends. I love my life!

Thursday 23 May 2013

Church Property, Bible Studies and Working Out

In case you were wondering what a Sunday morning time looks like, just look at the picture below. That is the "3 minutes that is actually 10" that we go around to greet everyone! I love that time, even if it is a maze to get around!
Hopefully we will have more space in the new church! If you missed the update on that, we have enough money to pay land and taxes etc. NOW we just need to build a building (Well kinda). But we need the funds first! If you are interested in helping us with that and to learn more about it, go here!

This week we began a little fit club in our neighborhood. Monday and Wednesday we have had 6 people come =) It has been fun, and we are all really sore! I was going to take pictures, but i thought that would be weird!

The girls are all set for our new study on the women of the bible! This week we had a time of prayer and made our poster. The goal... every week we will study a lady and come up with a symbol that helps us remember who she is. We listed the names to them and the only ones any of them new were Eve and Mary the mother of Jesus. Which was no big surprise, but it will make it fun to study something brand new to them! You can pray for this study-- for the girls and the leaders ;)

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Good enough.

I woke up sore today. We started a new workout program yesterday, we also started working out with some women of the church. Yes that means two workouts three times a week and only ONE three other days. Oh and not to mention the first week diet (which is very little calories)...

The book that comes along with our workout program says, "it is completely normal to feel a little off the first few day". Yep they are right. I feel a little off- I am tired, hungry and sore! =)

I can not blame my "off" feeling solely on the new program. Off and on for the past month or so I have been battling the "I don't have what it takes" mentality.

I think it is easy for me, and maybe for you (the 1.2 people who read this!) to want to excuse ourselves from doing something in life, for God because we are less experienced than this person, or that person has more resources, or more training, or .......... whatever the excuse is.

Of course,  this is one of Satan's most effective strategies... fill our mind with all the things we don't have or all the ways we fall short.

But when I focus on that lack, it keeps me from focusing on the fact that God has a history of using people who seemingly have nothing... no training, no money, no education, no skills etc. to do things that ONLY God can do.

So instead of focusing on my insecurities.. I know that my greatest weakness God can use for His glory!

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me
 2 Cor 12:9

Saturday 18 May 2013

Whats going on this week?

Two newish things are happening this week. Tiffany and I are starting a NEW bible study with the youth girls all about the woman of the bible. They seem excited about it- please pray for us as we prepare for those studies, the girls to come and for God to be glorified.

We have also been getting requests about the exercise program that Tiffany and I did a few months ago. P90x. So we are starting a little fitclub here. It is a few of the P90x programs, and some other DVDs we have. Come join us!

And this next weekend we have the FAMEX mission conference, read about it on Rod's Blog! It should be a great time... the youth are excited about it!

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Copper Canyon: And the verdict is.....

Copper Canyon--- after over a year and a half of talking about wanting to go... we finally did! It all started when we were looking at a kids magazine and it mentioned it.

Anyways, here it is.

We got up Saturday at 3am to catch our 6am flight. Smooth easy flight... then to the bus station. While we were well aware that we got ridiculously ripped off over the taxi, he was very nice and even took us to the next stop because we missed the 8am bus by 10 minutes (so we didn't have to wait 2 hours).

Five hour bus ride. When your tired. Is rough. But we made it to Creel. A really itty bitty town. Cute though. We called our hotel who came and picked us up and took us the three blocks to the hotel- think tall man in cowboy hat in a little car! =)

It was a great hotel. Served hot and really nice breakfasts too!

After we settled in to our hotels, we got some lunch and then walked around the town- which took about 5 minutes =) 

We immediately noticed how traditional the woman of the area still dress and how some of the men look like the typical "mexican" you think of when you watch the movies. On a horse, wearing a cowboy hat and drinking a beer! (ha)

We ran across the tour agency we booked tours on (3 Amigos- HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and went to talk to them. We told them we didn't have plans for the afternoon. So, they convinced us to go biking for 4 hours, handed us a map, and sent us on our way.

We ended up having a great time! Only a little "miss placed" -- we took the scenic route, ok? We saw a lake, Valley of the frogs (where the rocks looked like frogs), Valley of the mushrooms (can you guess? all the rocks were mushroom shaped!), An giant elephant shaped rock, caves, rock formations, a beautiful forest. So great! We ended it as it was sprinkling and got back to 3 Amigos ONE MINUTE before a down pour of hail!

Can you see the elephant?

The next day we got up early to find coffee... nope, nothing in the town opens before 10 or stays open after around 5! But, we got on our tour for the day. We had the same guide for this one and the next day... very knowledgeable. He took us to the bottom of Copper Canyon, some different look out sites, a water fall (which i am sure would have been WAY prettier in the wet season), and a couple pueblos. We even hiked, with our 12 year old friend to see a little hot spring. Cool to see... the hike was a little rough! All in all a day that brought many different sites, sounds, experiences, and cultures!

The third day, we were headed through the canyon stopping at some really cool over looks and off to an adventure park. This was my favorite day! The scenic views were breath taking, and sometimes just sat there admiring how incredible the canyons were. We couldn't get over how big our God was.

There were tons of things we could have done at the park--- zip lines, cable cars, horses, playground area. But we chose 4 wheelers! We had a guide who took us to one of the highest over looks. Showed us where you can see the three major canyons connect. Where an indian village is. AND where they still have their "rituals and sacrifices". It was amazing!

Next stop, our hotel for the night. Everyone suggested we stay at this hotel because its the best on the canyon. We thought about not staying there because  of the price. BUT--- we were SO glad we did. Everyone has a balcony overlooking the canyons where you can just sit and enjoy the view.

We did do some hiking around the hotel that afternoon, had a great dinner and watched the sun fade into darkness from our room!

Up at 5:30am to see the sunset from our balcony...ok wrapped in a blanket and in our door because it was about 40 degrees! 

 After checkout we headed out to the train. The train was an hour late. So everyone there was just hanging out. Not the worst thing in the world.

The only real disappointment of the trip was the train, unfortunately. We took second class, because we had been told by nationals that its basically the same and half the price. We got on and was getting ready to pay when we leaned that locals pay 120 pesos (10 bucksish) and then they charge people without a identification from there 790 pesos (70 bucks). We even tried to use our FM3 visas. But no. 

My only suggestion: if you go, skip the train- take the bus- use the money to do another tour!

All in all... a fantastic trip. We really had a great time- it was worth the wait to go! 

Tons more pics on my facebook and even more on my computer .... if your interested! 
I couldn't stop taking pictures!

Friday 10 May 2013

(20/30) Feliz día de las Madres!

It is mothers day here in Mexico!

Here is ONE of the ladies in my life here in Mexico- Marta!


Thursday 9 May 2013

(19/30) Señor de los Milagros

I found out what all the crazy fireworks going off today was...... they ARE celebrating the Señor de los milagros (Lord of miracles).

From everything I read and was told about today (i dont think i really understand it) but señor de los milagros is Jesus.

But, as we saw.... they are parading Jesus around Ixtapaluca for the next three days. But Jesus is still on the cross.... He is not alive but very bloody. very dead.

I am glad I serve the Jesus that is ALIVE and ascended into heaven!

With that said, they do put on a show for this day. Covering the streets that they march the señor de los milagros down in colorful decorations etc.

Phase ONE complete!

First of all, I can not help but wonder what the Catholic Church in Ixtapaluca is celebrating today--- of you know please enlighten me. How do i know they are celebrating? THE FIREWORKS THAT HAVE BEEN GOING OFF SINCE LAST NIGHT.

Anyways, not why I wanted to update my little blog today!
The reason....
WE ARE 100%  funded for the first phase of our church building fund!
That means we have enough to purchase the land, the taxes and the transfer of the title. Praise GOD! this does not include construction of the building- that is phase two!

It has been incredible to see everyone here come together and do whatever they can to raise money for this land. Selling food, selling clothes, selling anything really!

Thank you's also go out to all of the individuals and churches in the US and Canada.

This has truly been a team effort!

Please continue to give and continue to pray!... we still need to do the construction!

Check out our financial updates!

Wednesday 8 May 2013

(18/30) Beans

In an effort to save money and eat healthier we are attempting to MAKE our own beans. In a culture that makes them all the time.... that doesn't sound impressive. But remember, we enjoy simplicity... like buying them in a can! This crockpot of beans cost $2. It is the equivalent to 9 cans at about a dollar each. I would say we saved some money! (make a lot and freeze em!)

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Missed a few days, but back on track!

I had the amazing privilege to go to Michigan this weekend.  Spending some time with friends and speaking at a church that supports me.

Here are a few highlights.

I stayed with this amazing family. I have known them for 5 or so years. They are headed to live in Turkey soon! I am glad i got to see them before they left, and hope to visit them while they are there! If you think of it, pray for them!

I was also fortunate enough to be visited by these crazy people. We had a great time, ate alot and laughed even more!

Thank you Bethany Assembly for allowing me to share with your kiddos AND your adults on Sunday!

All in all... a great trip! Now time to catch up on things here!

Thursday 2 May 2013

(17/30) Support

Interested in how close (or far) I am from getting the support I need to go long term with Camino Global?
These numbers are MONTHLY pledges (does not take into account how much 1x gifts i need) and the amount that is pledged means just that, what people are or plan on starting to give.
Want to give to this mission in Mexico? go here

Wednesday 1 May 2013

(16/30) Health seminars

Today's picture(s) of the day comes from the first day of our health seminars in the community center. Its a three part series.